“A Perfect Holiday” is a stocking-stuffer of a movie, a family-friendly story about a little girl who asks a department store Santa for a special gift — a compliment for her mother. The Santa makes the girl’s wish come true, and, after the usual complications, ends up making his own wish come true as well, finding himself on Christmas morning with a new job and a new love. The movie stars Gabrielle Union as the single mother, Morris Chestnut as the would-be songwriter picking up some holiday work as a store Santa, and Faizon Love as his friend who dons the world’s largest elf costume. I spoke to Chestnut and Love about the movie and about their own perfect holidays.
NM: What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?
MC: My idea of a perfect holiday is spending time with the family, waking up on Christmas morning or Thanksgiving morning, watching football all day, having the family come over, people you haven’t seen..
FL: …eating nice food..
MC: seeing people I haven’t seen in months.
NM: Did you ever have a perfect holiday as a kid? Was there one you especially remember?
FL: My parents tried very hard and every holiday was perfect. There was this remote control car
MC: Firefox? I wanted one of those!
FL: Yeah, it was a Firefox. I came down there Christmas morning and there was tons of things, but I didn’t see the remote control car. I was like “Where’s the control car?” and my mamma took me out to the car and she pulls it out and she’s like “I knew you knew it was there!” I had the first Atari and I was like “What is this?” Football with three guys, Space Invaders, the paddles for Pong. Not very exciting.
MC: Now my son wants like an iPhone, he’s 10, I don’t even have an iPhone!
NM: What does it feel like to wear that Santa suit? Does it change you?
MC: Not at all! It’s hot! Let’s get the scene over with. I was wearing that thing in the hottest summer in years.
FL: I kept my suit!
NM: You were working with one of my favorite actresses, Gabrielle Union. What was that like?
MC: She’s a pleasure to work with. Aside from her obvious looks and talent, she’s fun to be around. And she’s smart. There’s a fine line when your character is complaining a lot but she has such an endearing nature you’re always on her side. She’s like your best friend, the girl next door, the one you want to be around.
NM: What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?
MC: After “The Perfect Holiday,” that whole Rankin-Bass series, Frosty the Snowman, all of those.
NM: What was the most fun about making this movie?
MC: Faizon Love was the fun part of making this movie! This was our first time working together.
FL: Morris Chestnut! He shut down the mall! Not because we were filming, but because of all the fans!
NM: What’s next?
MC: I’m producing a drama called “Not Easily Broken” directed by Bill Duke. It’s already finishes and will be out next year. Action films are emotionally and physically draining, and you’re dirty and sweaty. In a romantic comedy, you have to have your fingernails perfect, you’re in air-conditioned rooms the whole time. So I like to go back and forth and do both.
FL: I’m going to McDonald’s! I’ve got a stand-up tour, and I’m directing a film.
NM: What’s the most important thing for people to know about this movie?
MC: It’s fun for the entire family. You can take kids and grandparents
FL: My mother loved “Elf,” so I did this one for her.